Friday, July 31, 2009

Government to suspend "Cash for Clunkers" program

Top story on Drudge this morning is that the government is canceling the "Cash for Clunkers" program because it is running out of money. Demand is too great and the $1 billion that was expected to last until November lasted all of six days.

The quote of the day on this story comes from the Drudge story and it fits the Administration's miscalculation of the clunkers program to a tee:

"If they can't administer a program like this, I'd be a little concerned about my health insurance," car salesman Rob Bojaryn said.

More as this develops.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Healthcare Tele-Town Hall

Rep. Shuster and Rep. Boustany take questions from callers

Congressman Shuster just wraped-up a telephone town hall on healthcare from his Washington, DC office. He was joined in the call by his colleague, Congressman Charles Boustany of Louisiana. Congressman Boustany has a unique perspective on the healthcare issue because of his extensive medical background. Before his election to Congress, Dr. Boustany was one oa renowned cardiovascular surgeon in Louisiana. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Boustany serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over any legislation that requires revenue generation through taxation.

Over the course of the town hall, over 9,000 9th district residents took part by listening-in and asking questions. Congressman Shuster thanks those who took part in today's call.

Posted by: Press Secretary

UPDATED: Censoring Congress

UPDATED: House Democrats moved to table the Republican motion. The vote carried the motion 244 to 173 with 11 voting present.

Right now, the House is voting on whether to allow House Republicans to use this chart in mailings to constituents on healthcare reform.
Democrats on the House Franking Committee, the organization that approves mass-mailings on a bipartisan basis, have blocked the chart from use in mailers by Republicans. It looks to be a party-line vote.

Congressman Shuster opposes this attempt at censoring the speech of Congress. The American people have a right to hear from their elected officials and shouldn't be denied that chance just because one party doesn't like the use of a chart.

July 29, 2009, 1:23 p.m.
By Jennifer Bendery
Roll Call Staff

House Republicans on Wednesday filed a resolution that blasts Democrats for preventing GOP Members from sending constituents a mailing that criticizes the majority’s health care proposal.
The resolution cites the “failure of the Democratic Members of the Franking Commission to ensure that the Commission’s Democratic staff carries out its important responsibilities in a professional, fair, and impartial manner.”

The dispute centers on a GOP chart that illustrates the organization of the Democratic health care plan with a convoluted maze of government offices and programs. Republicans are pressing to use taxpayer dollars to mail the chart to constituents, but their request continues to be reviewed by the franking commission.

“The Democrats’ plan would mean more bureaucracy, more taxes, more mandates, more government involvement in your life and fewer jobs in this struggling economy. They’re trying to restrict Members of Congress from showing it to their constituents, and that’s just wrong,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said.

“I think the American people deserve the truth, and that’s why this resolution is important,” Boehner said.

Democrats maintain that sending out the chart as official mail would violate House rules because the information is misleading. Rules for franked mail bar Members from using taxpayer-funded mail for newsletters that use “partisan, politicized or personalized” comments to criticize legislation or policy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reckless rush to reform - Floor Speech

Earlier today, Congressman Shuster joined his fellow House Republicans in a series of 1 minute speeches on healthcare reform and the economy. Here is his speech:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rushing Healthcare Reform is Reckless

Congressman Shuster submitted an op-ed on healthcare reform to papers throughout the 9th district. Over the weekend, the Altoona Mirror, the Chambersburg Public Opinion and the Indiana Gazette all ran his piece. In case you missed it, Shuster's op-ed can be read in its entirety below:

In Washington, the president and his Democrat majority in Congress are pushing a massive overhaul of our nation's health care system at breakneck speed.

Unfortunately it is becoming clearer by the day that the health care debate is dangerously close to careening out of control and the risk of doing serious harm to the health of our families and our economy is very real.

Eighty-five percent of Americans are happy with their current health care coverage. Reform must address the 15 percent who are uninsured or underinsured.

However, forcing the 255 million people happy with their current coverage into a government-run system and destroying the entire framework of health care in America is not the way to provide coverage for the 46 million uninsured.

The government-run health care plan proposed by Democrats in Congress would place Washington bureaucracy between you and your physician.

What does government-run healthcare mean to you? Delayed treatment, no choice in doctors, lack of accountability and no guarantee that personal medical needs will be met are all real possibilities

The numbers are staggering. President Barack Obama's plan would cost more than $1 trillion and increase our debt by $239 billion. More than $800 billion in tax increases would be necessary to pay for the massive bureaucracies that would administer the government-run plan.

Even the director of the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic appointee, said this health care plan was "unsustainable" and does not control costs.

But the most critical number is zero. Zero is the amount of real choice and control patients will have over their own health care in a government-run plan.

We don't need to go far to see the failings of government-run health care. Just look at England and Canada.

In Canada, the average wait for a 65-year-old man to get a hip replacement is six months.

The survival rate for breast cancer in England's universal health care system is 75 percent.

One in four breast cancer patients in England do not survive. By contrast, women have a 98 percent breast cancer survival rate in America today.

My prescriptions for health care reform are simple.

I agree that we must make health care coverage affordable for all Americans. Second, coverage should be owned and controlled by those most affected by the system - the patients, not government.

I support reforms that ensure every American has the ability to get the medical care they need, when they need it, at a cost they can afford.

We must eliminate waste, fraud, abuse and pass medical lawsuit reform.

Any reform must allow for direct patient choice of doctors and insurance, and it must protect the doctor-patient relationship.

This is a defining moment. Obama proposed a sweeping set of reforms that will forever change the way we receive health care in America.

The president called for a rush to complete health care reform by August, but this is no time for arbitrary deadlines and a legislative process closed to opposing views.

Health care reform must be developed in a bipartisan, transparent fashion. Our very health depends on it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The ugly truth of healthcare reform

UPDATED: Today House Republicans held a press conference in response to reports that Democrats on the Committee on House Administration are objecting to Republican usage of a chart that describes the bureaucratic nightmare of government-run healthcare. Video from today's press conference can be found here.


The true impact of the Democrats' health care plan = $239 billion in deficit spending

From the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee:
  • According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Democrats’ health care proposal includes over $1 trillion in new spending between now and 2019.
  • The plan includes more than $820 billion in job-killing tax increases on small businesses and families making as little as $18,700 per year over the next decade.
  • But even these massive new taxes aren’t enough to pay for the Democrats’ plan.
  • CBO found the Democrats’ plan will increase the federal deficit by $239 billion over the next 10 years. What the Democrats don’t tell you is that the bill is not fully implemented until 2015, hiding the true costs and deficit impact of this government takeover of health care.
  • As the graph below shows,if the Democrats' health care spending continues at those rates, it could cause a massive spike in the federal deficit – reaching as high as $1.6 trillion over the next 20 years.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The economy has been rescued?

The economy has been rescued according to White House Chief of Staff Rham Emmanuel. Tell that to the Americans who make up some of that 9.5% unemployment rate. House GOP Leader John Boehner is right to be skeptical of Emmanuel's claim:

CBO expresses doubts about health care savings

From Ways and Means Republicans:

Congressional Budget Office Director Elmendorf tells Ways and Means that:

"The coverage proposals in this legislation would expand federal spending on health care to a significant degree. And in our analysis so far, we dont see other provisions in this legislation reducing federal health spending by a corresponding degree."

Reckless rush on healthcare

There is a new Republican Whip video on the Democrats' reckless rush to healthcare reform. More information can be found here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Video - Where are the Jobs?

UPDATED: GOP Conference just released a video about the 134 Republicans who went to the House Floor yesterday to ask the President and House Democrats - Where are the Jobs?

Today, Congressman Shuster joined 133 of his fellow House Republicans in taking to the floor to ask President Obama and Speaker Pelosi one simple question: Where are the Jobs! You can't spend your way into prosperity and todays economic news proves it. It's time for Congress to take a look at Republican solutions to our economic problems.

Monday, July 20, 2009

"A Trillion Here a Trillion There"

Good op-ed in today's Politico by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on healthcare reform, "A Trillion Here, a Trillion There." A must read.

Friday, July 17, 2009

UPDATED: Congressman Shuster on Missile Defense

Congressman Shuster is today's guest blogger on the Heritage Foundation's policy blog, The Foundry. In his post, Shuster defends American missile defense programs and argues that Congress, not the President, has the Constitutional power to fund our national security systems, which include our active defenses against a ballistic missile attack.

The Obama Administration's defense budget for FY2010 cut missile defense by $1.4 billion. Shuster and his fellow Republicans on the Armed Services Committee attempted to restore funding for missile defense during the mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act last month, but were defeated by party-line votes.

Here is Congressman Shuster speaking about missile defense during that mark-up:

10:40am: Shuster's blog post at Heritage has also been cross-posted on The Hill's Congress Blog here

Morning Must Reads

National News:

Posted by: Press Secretary

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A year ago today....

Today marks the one year anniversary of the lifting of the Presidential moratorium on offshore drilling on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). President Bush lifted the moratorium during the height of the energy crisis, during which time Americans saw record-high prices at the pump. The President and Republicans in Congress recognized the need for increased domestic exploration and drilling to lower our dependence on foreign oil. Unfortunately, President Obama has continued to block new drilling and exploration by delaying a new five-year leasing plan that would allow access to new energy resources on the OCS and create over a million new jobs. It is Congressman Shuster's hope that as we continue to see our energy prices increase, the President and Democrats in Congress will recognize the need for increased domestic production and stop blocking access to new energy resources.

Morning Must Reads

National News:

Posted by: Press Secretary

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shuster Staff to Hold Office Hours in Somerset County Tuesday

Shuster Staff to Hold Office Hours in Somerset County Tuesday

On Tuesday July 14th from 2:00 to 3:00pm, district staff from the office of Congressman Shuster will hold a session of office hours at the Meyersdale Borough Building in Somerset County.

These office hours bring Congressman Shuster’s district staff to residents who don’t live close to the congressman’s district offices or are unable to get to the offices during the week.

Again, residents of Somerset are invited to join staff members from Congressman Shuster's office for office hours at the Meyersdale Borough Building located at 613 Second Street in Meyersdale, PA 15552 on Tuesday, July 14th between 2 and 3pm.

Morning Must Reads

National News:

Posted by: Press Secretary

Thursday, July 9, 2009

In the wake of the "stimulus," unemployment grows

"Today’s unemployment insurance benefit claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor reveals another record number of Americans collecting unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The almost 9 million currently collecting UI benefits is an increase of 1 million from the level before the so-called stimulus bill. This counts the 6 million receiving State UI benefits (payable for up to six months) and the almost 3 million collecting Federal UI benefits (payable for up to another 12 months). The current total of 8.9 million unemployed workers collecting UI benefits in the week ending June 20, 2009 – the most recent week of complete data – is triple the number (2.9 million) who collected UI benefits just one year ago."

We've Changed!

As I'm sure you've noticed, Bill's Blog has undergone a slight change in layout. We've switched to a new template that should enable us to embed more YouTube video and offer new features for readers. As always, the webmaster encourages your feedback. What do you think of the new design?

Posted by: Press Secretary

Has the stimulus "Done its Job?"

What cap and trade means to homeowners - it's not pretty

The cap and trade bill was over a thousand pages when it reached the floor of the House for a vote. At 3:00am the night before debate, Democrats filed a manager's amendment to the bill that contained hundreds of pages of technical changes with virtually no time to read and digest what those changes would mean for the average American consumer. Now that the dust has settled from the House vote, information is beginning to leak out on what is actually in the cap and trade bill as passed by the House. With each passing day, it becomes even more clear why Congressman Shuster voted no on cap and trade.

One of the arguments made by House Republicans during the debate on cap and trade was that it stamped a one-size fits all mandate for home energy efficiency standards with a load of unfunded mandates on the states. Essentially, it would take California's building code and apply it to all 50 states, from Maine to Alaska and Pennsylvania. A post on the American Issues Project's blog goes into more detail on what this actually means to homeowners. If you own a home, or are in the market for a home, read this post.

Posted by: Press Secretary

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Results of the cap and trade blog poll

Thanks to everyone who voted in the most recent poll on cap and trade. We had 133 total votes. The results mirror the majority of the calls and letters the congressman is receiving on the issue of cap and trade in the Washington office. On the blog poll, those who oppose cap and trade outweighed cap and trade supporters by a total of 123 to 10 or 92% to 7%.

The next issue up for debate is healthcare reform. Please take a moment to check out the new poll questions on the right sidebar of the blog.

Democrat Healthcare Reform by the Numbers

Democrat Healthcare Reform by the Numbers (

852 - Pages in the bill.

120 million - Number of individuals who could lose their current coverage as a result of the government-run plan reimbursing at Medicare rates created in the bill, according to non-partisan actuaries at the Lewin Group.

4.7 million - Number of jobs that could be lost as a result of taxes on businesses that cannot afford to provide health insurance coverage, according to a model developed by Council of Economic Advisors Chair Christina Romer.

$88,200 - Definition of "low-income" family of four for purposes of health insurance subsidies.

Trillions - New federal spending, which likely could exceed the $1.6 trillion reported price tag of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus' legislation.

32 - Entitlement programs the bill creates, expands, or extends.

48 - Additional offices, bureaus, commissions, programs, and bureaucracies the bill creates over and above the entitlement programs listed above.

1,367 - Uses of the word "shall," representing new duties to be carried out by federal bureaucrats and mandates on individuals, businesses, and States.

$10 billion - Minimum loss sustained by taxpayers every year due to Medicare fraud; the government- run health plan utilizes the same ineffective anti-fraud statutes and procedures that have kept Medicare on the Government Accountability Office's list of high-risk programs for two decades.

$1.75 billion - Mandatory spending on home visitation services that would educate parents on "skills to interact with their child."

Zero - Prohibitions on government programs like Medicare and Medicaid from using cost-effectiveness research to impose delays to or denials for access to life-saving treatments.

2017 - Year Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted - a date unchanged by the legislation, which re-directs savings from Medicare to finance new entitlements for younger Americans.

GOP Leader Boehner on the Democrats' healthcare proposal

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Web video - where are those stimulus jobs?

House GOP leader John Boehner has a new video out on the stimulus. It's a must watch.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shuster statement on June unemployment numbers

Congressman Bill Shuster released the following statement after the Department of Labor released its June jobs report, that showed unemployment increased to 9.5 percent, and a loss of 467,000 jobs:

“Today’s unemployment report once again shows that continuing down the path of reckless spending, higher taxes and uncontrolled debt will not grow our economy or create jobs.

Instead of changing course to work with Republicans to forge a pro-growth agenda, the Democrats in Congress are repeating the same failed policies that in the past led to stagnant growth and high unemployment. Today’s economy is quickly beginning to look like it did the last time Democrats held a supermajority in Congress during the Carter Administration.

The answer to runaway unemployment is not a massive energy tax on all Americans, record levels of government spending and the threat of a middle class tax hike to pay for government run rationed healthcare. House Republicans continue to fight for a different kind of stimulus plan; an agenda that puts the American people back in the driver’s seat of our economy by encouraging investment, cutting taxes and letting America’s families and small businesses keep more of what they earn.”

FISCAL TIMELINE, 2009 (Office of the House Republican Whip) 

· February 13, 2009: Democrat House passes $787 billion stimulus without Republican input. 

· February 17, 2009: $787 billion stimulus signed by President Obama. 

· February 23, 2009: Bipartisan budget summit (Total debt outstanding: $10.839 trillion). 

· March 24, 2009: Presidential prime time news conference (Total debt outstanding: $11.046

· April 20, 2009: Presidential $100 million savings announcement (Total debt outstanding: 
 $11.189 trillion). 

· April 29, 2009: House passes irresponsible $3.6 trillion budget.

· End of April, 2009: Administration bails out Chrysler.

· May 7, 2009: President submits savings proposal of .5% of the budget (Total debt outstanding: $11.256 trillion).

· End of May, 2009: Administration purchases GM (approx $50-$70 Billion).

· June 4, 2009: House Republicans propose $375 billion in common-sense taxpayer savings. 

· June 15, 2009: CBO announces that the Kennedy-Dodd Govt. Healthcare bill would cost more than $1.3 trillion over ten years. 

· June 16, 2009: House Democrats pass $100.9 billion Supplemental spending bill, plus $108 billion in “loans” to the International Monetary Fund. 

· June 23,24,25, 2009: U.S. Treasury forced to auction a record $104 billion in Treasury notes to cope with America’s debt obligations. 

· June 26: Speaker Pelosi brings cap & tax legislation - that will cost millions of jobs and impose a crippling energy tax upon working families - before House of Representatives.

· July 2: Unemployment rate in U.S. reaches 9.5% after 467,000 jobs lost in June.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New expansion for the Fulton County Medical Center

Yesterday, Congressman Shuster took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new two story 16,000 square foot building at the Fulton County Medical Center. The new building will will be the home to specialty services and Home Care on the first floor. There will 15 physician offices, two procedure rooms and a specious waiting room. The second floor will be home to the business office, accounting, MIS, human resources, administration, community relations & development and the newly formed FCMC Foundation. The second floor will also have a large community conference room. The Herald-Mail was at the event and covers the story in their article: Ground broken on new medical center.